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President Biden pledged nearly $100 million in humanitarian assistance to Lebanon on Wednesday, the first anniversary of a port explosion that killed more than 200 people and injured thousands of others in the country's capital of Beirut.

Why it matters: Biden urged Lebanon's leaders to reform the country's economy and crack down on corruption after more than a year of economic and political instability.

  • No senior official has been held accountable for the blast, which was caused by a large amount of ammonium nitrate stored unsafely at the port for years.

What he's saying: Biden said the new $100 million pledge adds to $560 million that the U.S. has provided to Lebanon over the last two years, and he urged other leaders around the world to increase their assistance to Lebanon.

  • "On this day of mourning, I send my deepest condolences to all those who were injured or lost loved ones and all those still struggling to recover from this trauma," Biden said.
  • "We also recognize that the people of Lebanon have suffered more over the past year because of an avoidable political and economic crisis."
  • "No amount of outside assistance will ever be enough if Lebanon's own leaders do not commit to do the hard but necessary work of reforming the economy and combatting corruption. It's essential, and it has to start now."

Go deeper

The economy is great, but voters don't believe it

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Economic pessimism is on the rise — despite the fact that the actual economy is doing exceptionally well.

Why it matters: The big question facing the White House between now and next year's elections is whether it will be able to use America's real-world economic health to boost President Biden's economic approval ratings.

Updated 16 mins ago - Sports

MLB enters first lockout since '95 as deal expires

Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred (L) and Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Tony Clark. Photo: Matt King/MLB via Getty Images

Major League Baseball's collective bargaining agreement expired at 11:59 p.m. ET Wednesday without a new deal in place.

Why it matters: With no CBA, the MLB is in a management lockout — the first work stoppage since a 1994-95 strike led to the cancelation of the World Series for the first time in 90 years.

Media giants back Bannon's bid to release Jan. 6 documents

Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon at the FBI Washington Field Office in Washington, DC., in November. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

A coalition of news outlets including the Washington Post is supporting Stephen Bannon's campaign for the release of documents related to his contempt of Congress charges, WashPost confirmed Wednesday.

Why it matters: WashPost, the New York Times, CNN, NBC, the Wall Street Journal's parent company and others filed a motion arguing that a proposed protective order seeking to prevent the documents from being released violates the First Amendment, per the Daily Mail, which first reported on the news.